B y Dan King and Jamie Norton

In September, Granville Police Chief Ernie Bassett was tabbed to take on the same role with Whitehall Police on a part-time basis.


Ernie Bassett

Since that time, the two village boards have been working on the logistics of Bassett’s contract, and officials report they are close to finalizing it.

“We’re very close to a shared services contract with Granville Police Department,” Whitehall Mayor and Police Commissioner Ken Bartholomew told his board last week. “The deal will allow him to back out at a certain time, but he won’t back out, he’s happy here.”

“We did just have to fine-tune some things,” Granville Village Clerk Rick Roberts said.

Some of those things included working out Bassett’s paid time off and what each municipality would do, from both a staffing and benefits standpoint, should Bassett become injured or disabled on the job. They’ve also both been working on contingency plans in case the inter-municipality arrangement doesn’t work out.

“The I’s had to be dotted and the T’s had to be crossed, but my sense is … I think you’re going to see this thing get across the (finish) line when we have our next (village board) meeting,” Roberts said. “I would be surprised if it didn’t.”

Bassett has already been working with the Whitehall Police and will be paid $29.50 an hour while working in Whitehall for 16 hours a week while continuing to work a full 40 hours a week in Granville. Once his new contract is finalized, he will reduce his presence in Granville to 30 hours per week.

“If you didn’t know the contract wasn’t signed yet, you couldn’t tell,” said Walt Sandford, Whitehall trustee and former Fort Edward Police chief. “The chief has been really active here.”

“Ernie has been a consummate professional,” Roberts said. “I’m sure he’s been a little tired from 56 hours a week; he’s handled it professionally … It seems to be working out pretty well (and) it seems pretty seamless. We haven’t actually gone to the 30 hours here; when we do, I think, the public really won’t notice it.”

When Bassett is not present in Granville, the department will still have leadership from Sgt. Ryan Pedone, whom the village recently hired. Sgt. Dick LaChapelle, who had served as “officer in charge” since former Chief Matt Dickinson went on medical leave more than a year ago and eventually retired, will fill the same role in Whitehall.

Officials said taxpayers could benefit financially if the two villages share items such as retirement and insurance costs.

A joint agreement between the two also opens the door for both municipalities to secure grant funding.



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